Lack of Awareness of Memory Problems Seen as Sign of Alzheimer’s Risk in Study

Lack of Awareness of Memory Problems Seen as Sign of Alzheimer’s Risk in Study
A person's awareness of a cognitive problem, such as memory loss, may be a good indication that he or she is not going to develop Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada, people who are unaware of an increasingly evident decline in memory — and other symptoms of cognitive decline or mental illness, a condition medically known as anosognosia — are more likely to develop the disease. This finding was reported in the study “Anosognosia Is an Independent Predictor of Conversion From Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease and Is Associated With Reduced Brain Metabolism” that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. “If patients complain of memory problems, but their partner or caregiver isn’t overly concerned, it’s likely that the memory loss is due to other factors, possibly depression or anxiety,” Dr. Philip Gerretsen, clinician scientist at CAMH and a study lead author, said in a news release. “They can be reassured that they are unlikely to develop dementia, and the other causes of memory loss should be addressed.” The study included 1,062 participants, ages 55 to 90, with the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiati
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